Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Augustine's Great Shadow

Hours in the forest looking for hawk nests yields nothing but hours in the forest looking. Don't ask who has the map if you're capable of drawing one. I sleep well for once and wake up confused but happy, which is nothing new. Oh Emily Dickinson, thank you a thousand times a thousand times!

It helps to spend time watching dogwood leaves slowly unfurling, and to devote oneself to the arrival of bluets. We are servants in that order! A beautiful signal arrived in a form I could both recognize and accept and now this, this way. To know oneself as a fool is to know that somersaults and mirror balls are welcome in the kingdom.

If you find the ruins of the cross, all I can say is keep going. Mice scampered through the wood pile and I thought of the men I knew that you will never know and how right now - a child with all of it before you - it doesn't matter, though in time it will, as few of us escape fully the binding narrative of family. Look for the helpers! I am talking about wintergreen lifesavers, tobacco and non-negotiable hats for walking to church.

How tired I am of methods, the mind's cheerful focus on modes. One encounters a wall and thinks, that would be the perfect place for a ladder. Goldenrod near the old rose bush, cartographers looking for work. Witnesses take notes, which is one way to avoid doing it.

Burning winter deadfall and old poems, ashes spiraling into the dull gray sky, leaning on a broken hoe, knowing there is only one way now. Your hand brushes mine while helping fix the winter-battered shutters and we remember that time painting the foyer of our first house - the joke about needing a little caulk - and for a moment the shutters wait while laughter - our laughter - a kind of blossom now that I write it - unfolds and ascends to silence. We live and write and pray in Augustine's great shadow. Premeditated meditation is like kale or flossing, meaning it's fine, it's more than fine, but it's not enough if you want to see the Face of God and live.

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